Girl on Fire: I feel lucky knowing those in law enforcement

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, October 16, 2014]

Recently, I met a man who had a very cynical view of the world. He thought everyone was out to ruin others’ reputations, and he certainly disliked any and all forms of law enforcement.

I will say I’m an idealist, but I’m also a realist. I want to see the world as an amazing place, where all people can go to college, jobs are easy to come by and a bright sun rises every morning. However, I also don’t pretend like things are really that simple.

Every morning, I sit at my office computer and type reports for the day’s newspaper. I’ve done this for more than a year now, and day after day I read the call log and type, line by line, the calls Creston law enforcement made in the past 24 hours.

I never realized until I did this just how busy a police officer is during the day. I think the stereotype of the police officer stopping for coffee and doughnuts might be true in some cases, but I also think that stereotype can be applied to just about any other profession.

I’ve been friends with people in law enforcement for a long time. I’ve spent time getting to know several police officers and state troopers in Creston in my time here, and I worked with Centerville police officers, state troopers and Appanoose County sheriff’s deputies when I mowed for Clipper Lawn Service before moving to Creston.

The difference between the cynical man I met and me is I’m aware. I’m aware of what the world is really like. I’m aware what the men and women who wear the badge really want out of their careers.

Police officers are not just there to catch those breaking the law, or suspected of breaking the law. They aren’t just there to pull you over because you have a brake light out, or to knock on your door for a noise complaint. Officers are there to serve and protect. They want children to grow up knowing they can trust an officer, and adults to know they can call if they feel unsafe or have questions.

A cop’s job is not just to go and arrest people. A cop’s job is to make a community a safe place.

I have loved getting to know so many people in the world, and some of the most interesting and trustworthy are those with badges. I consider myself very lucky to have been able to learn more about those men and women, and be friends with them.

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